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Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965$
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Davis W. Houck and David E. Dixon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781604731071

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604731071.001.0001

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date: 26 April 2018

Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune

June 11, 1954 Detroit, Michigan

Chapter:
(p.3) Mary McLeod Bethune
Source:
Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965
Author(s):

Davis W. Houck

David E. Dixon

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604731071.003.0001

Born on July 10, 1875, in Mayesville, South Carolina, Mary McLeod Bethune is one of the most important educators and political leaders of her time. Aside from education, Bethune was also very active in politics. She was involved in a variety of organizations, from the Florida Federation of Colored Women and the NAACP to the Association of American Colleges, the National Urban League, the League of Women, and the Women’s Army for National Defense. In 1935, Bethune founded the National Council of Negro Women, a nonprofit group designed to unite disparate black women’s groups throughout America. In 1954, less than one month after the Supreme Court’s historic decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Bethune delivered a speech in which she argued that America has discovered a new freedom with the ruling—a freedom that she has been cultivating for five decades. This chapter reproduces Bethune’s speech.

Keywords:   speech, Mary McLeod Bethune, politics, National Council of Negro Women, America, Supreme Court, Brown v. Board of Education, freedom

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